Social Media Buzz Spreading Like Wildfire through Pharma Companies – Best Practices to Avoid Getting Burned

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Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest may have started as entertainment sources for bored college students & distractions from work for professionals, but more and more companies are flocking to these sources to drive their businesses. It may come as a shock to realize that even your eight-year-old niece or nephew probably has a Facebook account, but it should be an opportunity that is seized by companies to target current and potential customers of all ages and demographics.

It is undeniable that Social Media sites have exponentially grown in usage; however, the question of what level of investment is merited in Social Media remains largely unanswered in corporate America. What exactly are the best practices associated with corporate Social Media usage & should your company jump on the bandwagon?

Despite the recent Social Media boom, marketing organizations in highly regulated industries, such as pharmaceuticals and utilities, are still wrestling with how to incorporate Social Media into their marketing plans effectively and safely. However, 50% of companies are proactively managing Social Media through content generation and are monitoring on sites, such as Google, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

While most companies might be on board the Social Media train, the idea of training is still at a standstill for most benchmarked companies surveyed in a recent Best Practices’ report. The report found that even though a majority of Social Media employees undergo formal training on marketing, communications and customer service, only a third are required to have training specifically focused on Social Media.

It is clear that Social Media has greatly changed the concept of marketing and communication for corporate America. While some companies have embraced the idea of Social Media, it is clear that each company’s need for & idea of how to accurately display their presence on Social Media sites depends on the type of business. While a campaign through Facebook might be ideal for a campaign about new varieties of unique chip flavors, it might not be as ideal for a business-to-business (b2b) company.

Some key findings from “Best Practices for Using Social Media To Drive Business Outcomes,” to help readers gage the opportunities and risks that are associated with the usage of Social Media sites included:

  1. Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook mean the greatest benefit for corporations actively engaged in Social Media efforts.
  2. Companies report Social Media has the greatest impact on product branding and building the corporate image, followed by customer communication and education.
  3. All benchmarked companies reported that Social Media activities will play a bigger role in their companies’ marketing strategies during the next few years.

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